Hera Venture Summit
Around the Sun and Back Again
It is crazy how much can happen in one year.
52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours.
It seems like an eternity when you break it down. But then you remember it’s already the fall of 2018, and we’re closer to Christmas than Memorial Day.
It makes you wonder where all the time went.
This day last year, I was sitting in a cubicle working for my dad’s restoration company. Our desks faced across from one another, and the room was less than 100 square feet. For some, this would pose a challenge.
But not for us.
My dad and I love working together. On this day, we were strategizing late into the night how we could possibly make content about water damage compelling. I don’t even want to tell you how many times I came back to the idea of high-waters.
Amidst our talks of restoration, we always drifted back to one conversation. We had been talking for the past few weeks about my plans to pursue Vizer full time. But every time we would broach the topic, I felt there were projects at my dad’s company that I needed to finish first. The date would be pushed back a week, and then two…
Then later that night, as we sat tossing ideas back and forth, a sponsored post flashed across my screen. It was a promotional code posted by the USD Entrepreneurship Facebook page.
“Join us for the Hera Venture Summit!”
Having never heard of the event before, I was curious and clicked to learn more. I discovered that the purpose of the summit is to build connections within the female startup ecosystem. It seemed like the perfect opportunity. One that I would have loved to attend had I only been in San Diego, I reasoned.
I mentioned the event in passing to my dad, then delved back into my high-water pants concept. Before I could finish sketching out my idea, he stopped me in my tracks. He couldn’t believe that I hadn’t already booked a flight to San Diego.
That was all the urging it took — 25,000 miles later and I had a one-way ticket.
The high of the spontaneity carried me through the night and the rest of the next day. But then as I headed the airport, the reality of my decision started to set in.
- I knew no one attending the event.
- I had never attended a networking event on my own.
- I had no product, traction, or metrics to speak of.
But I did have something. I had a vision and a desire to learn.
Plus, I figured I could always blend into the crowd and figure it out as I went.
Well, no such luck.
What they don’t tell you about networking events is that no one is on time. When I waltzed through the door at 7:30 on the dot, I expected a full crowd. Instead, I received kind but curious glances from the set-up crew. “Are you here for the Summit?” they asked.
After the initial unease passed, more people arrived, and the day became a whirlwind. I met people from every end of the startup spectrum. Speakers came from all over the world to share in the excitement. Everyone was pitching something and relationships were sparking all around me.
I had no idea how instrumental some of the relationships I made that day would become.
It was the first time I had ever heard of the Small Business Development Center. Since then, we have grown to work extremely closely with The Brink at USD.
It was the first time I had heard of Hera Labs. We completed the scale program in the spring of this year and use the lessons learned to this day.
It was the first time I conducted an informational interview with a stranger. We have since conducted over 400 interviews and counting.
It was a day full of firsts.
Most important, it was the first time I was so sure that pursuing this lifestyle was the right choice. The best way to describe how I felt during the conference was alive. I knew this was something I would stay up at night and leap out of bed in the morning to do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Flash forward eleven months later and we are beyond humbled by where we stand today. First, I’m no longer doing it alone. I am surrounded by my incredible co-founder Dylan and a team of people equally passionate about what we’re setting out to accomplish. We have channeled our vision and curiosity into a product that we are proud to be building. We have hit the milestones we’ve set for ourselves, and continue to set new goals every day. We have partnered with amazing people, brands, and organizations who embody our mission. Above all, the relationships we’ve formed throughout this process lend color to it all. People who were once cold introductions, have become our most trusted advisors. So many of our colleagues have become lasting friends.
Last week we were honored to receive both the Judge’s Choice and Audience Choice awards at Hera Fast Pitch. As a result, not only will we be returning to the summit this year, but we are fortunate to be one of the pitching companies.
Isn’t it crazy how time flies?
52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours.
From high-water pants and cubicles, to first-time solo-networking jitters — we now will be on stage and surrounded by what has become our community.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to see where we will be by HVS 2019.